Monday, September 10, 2007

Idealism in youth, Cynicism in older years.

One of the books I'm currently reading is The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin.

Being prey to the usual affliction of teenagers (i.e. brain leaking out of the ears) some of his beliefs as a youth were off, while others were right on the money and MAN was he smart. He was, at one point, a vegetarian. I think it remarkable that teenagers often flirt with vegetarianism. I certainly did, and only stopped because I married a meat-and-potatoes man. =D

Anyway, where was I?

Oh yes, vegetarian. However, he really liked fish. Being on a boat at one point in time where they caught and cooked a large amount of cod, he was sorely tempted to eat some. Noticing that there were some little fish inside the big one he said to himself "well, if you eat each other, there's no reason why I can't eat you." And so he did. And enjoyed it.

However, he said,

"So convenient a thing it is to be a reasonable creature, since it enables one to find or make a reason for everything one has a mind to do."

Hahaha! =D =D =D That was not the youth speaking but the older, wiser Franklin. It made me giggle and shake my head. What a cynical thing to say!

Hmmmm. Idealism in youth, cynicism in older years. Which is the more attractive? While there is no doubt that his cynical comment MAY be bitingly true, I find the idealism MUCH more attractive. Cynicism is unattractive and is possibly a sign of a bitter, angry soul who wishes to be thought of as wise and clever.

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